We at BrightFocus Foundation are committed to our ongoing mission of helping those affected by Alzheimer's disease, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. We offer support and assistance to people with these diseases, as well as their caregivers. We are also dedicated to raising public awareness and the search for a cure. 

Our team members bring a wide variety of talent and skills to the organization. If you seek a fulfilling career that directly affects peoples' lives, BrightFocus is the right place for you.

Current Employment Opportunities

Department: Scientific Affairs

Position Title: Director of Scientific Programs

Supervisor: Vice President, Scientific Affairs

Position Summary

The Director of Scientific Programs (DSP) is responsible for the scientific execution of the annual BrightFocus research pre- and post-award programs. The primary responsibilities of the DSP are to ensure a high level of scientific accountability within the BrightFocus award program, and to foster strong relationships with the scientific community. The DSP is responsible for supporting communications and fundraising efforts by leveraging these relationships to meet program goals of the organization.

Duties, Responsibilities, and Functions

  • Pre-award
    • Implement research initiatives related to the foundation’s annual award program.
    • Work closely with Scientific Program Grants Manager (SPGM) to coordinate proposal submissions, including assistance with plan, design and implementation of all application templates, instructions and online forms for submission of proposals.
    • Serve as point of contact for all applicants and applicant institutions with scientific questions regarding suitability of projects for BrightFocus funding mechanisms.
    • Recruit and nominate new scientists to the Scientific Review Committees, as required.
  • Review
    • Communicate review cycle related information to internal stakeholders (e.g., website, development, public affairs, strategic partnerships, finance, etc).
    • Perform preliminary scientific review of proposals prior to formal merit peer-review. Financial budgets and supporting information in application are reviewed for appropriateness to the proposed science specific aims.
    • Responsible for managing the annual award program scientific peer-review process, with attention to identification of any conflicts of interest between applicants and reviewers. The DSP is responsible for ensuring that required professional opinions are provided for all proposals submitted through the annual award program.
    • Work with leadership of Scientific Review Committees to determine appropriate expertise required to review proposals.
    • Represent BrightFocus during in-person meetings of the Scientific Review Committees.
  • Post-Review
    • Negotiate Intellectual Property agreements between funded institutions and BrightFocus as it relates to approved awards. Work in concert with SPGM to ensure proper merging of Terms and Conditions and Intellectual Property agreements.
    • Responsible for all aspects of scientific progress report evaluation, and follow-up with grantees for matters like impediments and requests for readjustment of specific aims. The DSP receives, evaluates and reports on quantitative and qualitative progress of all projects during the award and following termination (i.e., publications, intellectual property, subsequent funding, grantee testimonials, etc.). Prepares impact assessment data of the core programs for the VP of Scientific Affairs.
    • Ensure recommended projects are not duplicative of other funding support, by electronic methods as well as communication with related funding agencies. Questions from applicants about the science of the reviewer critiques will be handled by the DSP.
    • Responsible for recommending appropriate administrative actions related to research outcomes.
    • Responsible for the final approval for Grantee requests for complex post-award changes regarding specific aims, changes in key personnel, and other requests. The administrative aspects of these requests are executed by the SPGM.
  • Scientific Liaison duties
    • Develop and maintain relationships with grantees, academic research community, and other mission-related organizations.
    • Travel to academic conferences or other venues in order to conduct research on BrightFocus projects and build expertise in disease areas.
    • Serve as a scientific liaison to internal staff, keeping internal stake holders apprised of developments in BrightFocus-sponsored awards, and review select documents, web pages, and other forms of external communication for scientific rigor, as needed.
    • Serve as spokesperson for foundation, as required by organizational needs.
  • Assist Vice President of Scientific Affairs in reports to the Board of Directors regarding progress.
  • Works closely with the VP of Scientific Affairs to identify and recruit expert speakers for panels, conferences and meetings.
  • Special projects, as directed by the Vice President of Scientific Affairs


  • Ph.D., preferably in related field, and minimum 6 years related experience.
  • Detailed knowledge of scientific research, as relates to BrightFocus programs.
  • Ability to translate scientific research into value for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Ability to garner the respect and support of all levels in the organization, scientific and academic communities.
  • Successful experience in planning, prioritizing, organizing, and follow through.
  • Proven experience with public speaking on scientific topics.
  • Experience with performing on collaborative projects.
  • Experience with volunteer/scientist management/coordination.
  • Ability to travel

Strongly Prefer

  • Non-profit grants management experience
  • Familiarity with SmartSimple or related grants management software

To apply, please submit your résumé and cover letter to For more information about BrightFocus Foundation, please visit our website at

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Keep me imformed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.